Just when you got over the "fiscal cliff" -- get ready for the "sequester."
According to USA TODAY, the White House began warnings about the sequestration -- automatic budget cuts -- by issuing reports Sunday (February 24) on how the coming $85 billion in reductions will affect each of the 50 states.
With the cuts set to begin Friday, President Obama is expected to cite the state reports as part of his effort to pressure congressional Republicans over the sequestration.
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said "surely" Obama can find a way to cut 2 to 3 percent from a $3.5 trillion budget. "Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending," McConnell said.
-- How do you feel about the impending federal budget cuts? What should the president and Congress do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
On Sunday, the White House released a state-by-state breakdown of how the budget cuts could play out. Here are some ways they could affect Georgia:
- Teachers and Schools: Georgia will lose approximately $28.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 390 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 54,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 80 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, Georgia will lose approximately $17.5 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Job Search Assistance to Help those in Georgia find Employment and Training: Georgia will lose about $873,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 33,160 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
- Vaccines for Children: In Georgia around 4,180 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $286,000.
Some other national effects could include:
- Fingerprints and background checks: The FBI runs national data systems for fingerprint searches and background checks. The sequester ... could slow down investigations.
- Meat and poultry inspections: The FDA warns that it might have to furlough meat and poultry inspections for up to 15 days. Meat plants would be unable to ship food if there were no inspectors.